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Calories Burned by Tapping the Foot

By Marie Mulrooney ; Updated July 18, 2017

Spurred by a study conducted by James Levine and co-researchers at the Mayo Clinic, many experts theorize that how much you fidget may help decide whether you end up overweight or not. Although overweight fidgeters averaged an extra 200 calories burned per day and some individuals burned as many as 800 calories by fidgeting, just tapping your foot alone probably isn't the key to dramatic weight loss.

Your Mileage May Vary

Levine's study was published in 2000 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," along with a concluding note that "The thermogenic potential of fidgeting-like and low-grade activities is sufficiently great to substantively contribute to energy balance." However, Levine and his colleagues also noted "a marked variance" in the rate of calorie burn between individuals.

Sometimes Size Matters

A number of factors are known to contribute to your rate of calorie burn during any activity -- including fidgeting. These include your gender, body weight, age and how much muscle you carry versus fat. The harder you work out and the larger the muscles you use, the more calories you burn.

Fidgeting constantly may help chop a couple of hundred calories off your body every day, and it's certainly a good first step toward becoming more active. But more intense activities -- like walking, cycling or jogging -- will burn even more. So if you're looking for quick weight loss, consider doing some dedicated workouts, too.

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